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A single candidate the only way
We’ll back you to topple Mahinda, JVP tells UNP

The JVP has assured the UNP that it will support a common candidate fielded by a joint opposition alliance-led by the main opposition party if President Mahinda Rajapaksa called an early presidential election ahead of parliamentary polls.

 Well informed political sources told the Sunday Island that this would be a new alliance and should not be mistaken with the recently formed UNP-led United National Alliance (UNA) which would campaign for parliamentary polls scheduled to take place by April next year.

The sources said that the UNP and the JVP would announce their alliance aimed at defeating President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon after he called for presidential polls.

 Responding to our queries, they said that the UNP and JVP had agreed that the only way to thwart President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to win a second term was to field one candidate, thereby paving the way for largest possible alliance against the President.

They said that this would help them to build a temporary but strong alliance for a particular reason, in this case defeat President Rajapaksa.

 This anti-presidency alliance would not prevent the JVP and UNP-led UNA plans to contest parliamentary polls separately early this year, they said.

 Two JVP MPs told The Sunday Island that they were ready for any eventuality. They said that they would work with the UNP both in and outside Parliament to bring an end to the Rajapaksas’ dictatorial regime.

 Political sources said that the government could not be unaware of the threat posed by a joint JVP-UNP alliance had they convinced former Army Chief and Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka to contest presidential election.

Although the war veteran who had survived an LTTE suicide attempt on his life at the beginning of Eelam War IV but returned to finish off the LTTE remained silent on his possible entry into politics, the Opposition is convinced that he is their best choice.

 Political sources said that the president would announce his plans at the SLFP Convention scheduled to take place on November 15. Sources said that depending on the rapidly changing ground situation, the UPFA may decide to abandon plans for an early presidential poll and face the scheduled parliamentary polls.

Should this happen, the proposed UNP-JVP alliance would not be a reality, sources said adding that an influential section within the UPFA still believed that the president can comfortably secure a second term under any circumstances.    

Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene last week told his weekly briefing that the Opposition was planning to disrupt essential services this week to coincide with the SLFP Convention. He said that Opposition would launch its action on Tuesday (Oct 10) but the government was confident of meeting the threat.

 While the Opposition stepped up its media campaign, the government had moved to reassure the armed forces that the UPFA remained forces friendly. The president announced a pay increase for the armed forces a few days ago but did not quantify it.

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